Tag Archives: Phoneography

Odd views of the world. A bit more on phone photography.


The iPhone is more than a phone for me… In fact I rarely use it as such. Instead it has, for a long while, been my primary method of creating images, initially drawn and now photographed.

The iPad (and a range of tablets including the Hudl, Surface, Galaxy Tab, a variety of Dell, Lenovo and Asus tablets and so on) is currently my go-to painting and drawing device because of the increased screen real estate – something that I remember not being convinced about when I imported my very first iPad. But then, somehow, the larger screens became the ones I picked up most to do a painting and the Phone… well, it didn’t languish, but the drawn images became fewer and further between. I still draw on the small screen but those pictures are rarer.


Stylus T says Ribbet, for example, was drawn on my phone a couple of days after I’d come back from a lovely holiday while I was going through my pics.

And therein lies the rub: what I love about the iPhone is the camera. The Lumia‘s might have better glass but the iPhone, currently, has the better apps and the quicker pedal to metal. The Galaxy S4 was awful in this respect and I took far more blurry photo than I would have liked with that phone which, apart from that one pitfall, I liked loads. All of the pics in this blog and this blog were taken with the iPhone… Its my go to photography device 99% of the time and with the addition of an Olloclip it becomes even more fun:

Pink Marshmallow.

White Marshmallow

Chin Chin and Green Grass.

As you can probably guess I’m extremely fond of Autostitch, Boinx’ You Gotta See This app (which, while brilliant, is VERY MUCH in need of an update) and Olloclip’s in general. I’ve mentioned it before but I was utterly heartbroken when one of my two Ollo’s bit the dust 🙁

’nuff said.

I’ve written about Phoneography before, and no doubt will again ((although you’d be far better served by checking out the work of the very wonderful Nettie ‘Lumilyon’ Edwards who takes mobile phone photography very much to a higher level)). My mind is already moving towards the likely September 6th announcement of a new iPhone (although I will have an eye very firmly pointed to the keynote at IFA for the Samsung Note 4 – which is a fabulous phone. I love the S-Pen integration very much) but, with both announcements, it’ll be the camera that I’ll be most interested in seeing the evolution to come…

Hockney, Kandinsky and Escher walk into an app… (or Adventures in Autostitch).

A few days ago (blimey, only that? feels ages ago…) I tweeted a couple of pictures from a dental surgery in a converted church saying that I loved the app when it broke because of the geometry of what you’re pointing the camera at…

… and team Autostitch tweeted me back saying that they prefer the app when it doesn’t break.

<blockquote lang=”en”><p><a href=”https://twitter.com/Kercal”>@Kercal</a> That’s strange, we don’t like it when it breaks. Maybe we need a special mode that does this on purpose?</p>&mdash; AutoStitch Panorama (@AutoStitch) <a href=”https://twitter.com/AutoStitch/statuses/444175921239425025″>March 13, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

The thing is, it’s the accidents that make it for me. If I want an app that you slowly pan from left to right to get a picture that looks like a normal panorama every single time, that’s what I’ll go for. Autostitch occasionally snaps and that gives you all sorts of oddnesses which is just the way I like it 🙂 Would it be better if the accidents were planned or there was an inbuilt abstract mode? Possibly… but it’s the joy of the discovery that makes it all the more special imo.




… and my personal favourite: the Cyber Giraffe (also known as the Eiffel Tower).


I also photographed the one below although wish I’d had the 5S at the time (the one above and below were on a 4S). Would love to have see how the image below could have come out in higher resolution…


(like the one below for example…)

So there you go: breaking an app to get something akin to a drunken mashup of artists portfolios 🙂 Love it.

Back at the Labs, again :)


Last night was a very lovely meet up in London with a brain trust of tech cleverness over a curry with a mate called Nick who’s building something brilliant. How’s that for an intro sentence 🙂

I’m not overly sure whether it was an unannounced public shenanigan day but Nick and I didn’t have a single part of our journey (well, one train was OK) that wasn’t spoiled by a drunken mess of noise and confusion. Odd. I’ve done London trips a good few times on a Friday/Saturday night but don’t remember one as messy (and vaguely unsettling) as this one. Actually it started with a couple of nitwits shouting and V signing us as we walked into town and stayed at that level of intelligence until we reached out destination. An odd Saturday night all told.

(Raspberry sun spot).

Regardless: London means one thing and the one thing is Chin Chin Labs in Camden Market. We were there to pick up something but you can’t not have the special while in the shop 🙂 Nick had a Brownwich (two chocolate coookies with vanilla ice cream that looked ultra yum) and I had one of the two specials (Cream Cheese, Red Velvet and Grilled White Chocolate the other being Cherry Fizz which I was also sorely tempted by). Possibly the best one I’ve had from there, although I tend to say that a lot. Mmmm mmm Mmmm.

(the happy moment when the ice cream is there).

I’ve done a number of Chin Chin Labs inspired pics in the past (and these are just the ones that’re tagged, must get in there and fix some more sometime when I have free time (hahaha). It’s very much one of my favourite zone places on the planet to work. Such a shame they don’t have a shop in Guildford… But at least Camden’s not toooo far away.

Pics taken on iPhone 5S using my trusty Olloclip.

Talking ’bout the Macro’lution…

I count myself very lucky to be in this strange, lovely world of artwork being made on portable screens. It’s fabulous to be involved in the growth of a medium that changes and evolves so rapidly.

On that subject I was with a clutch of the family earlier and, in the room we sat and chatted happily in, there was a vase of roses that Granpa had bought for Granma.  So I took a ‘few’ macro and fisheye shots (see >>here<<) with a couple of my macro lenses – which then prompted a discussion on which was best, which cost more and so on.

So, here are the three that I’m most fond of:


The Olloclip is a wonderful piece of kit – a serious, machine tooled 3 in 1 lens that perfectly encapsulates the phone it sits on, even going so far as to rotate happily away from the power button that it could so easily hide. The above one is the 4/4S Oclip photographed by the 5/5S clip 🙂

You can buy the Olloclip from a range of shops, Amazon for example, which tells me there’s an updated version which has 2 Macro settings. Nuts, I know what I’d have asked for my birthday!

((slight edit: in the end I met up with and said hallo to Team Olloclip at the Gadget Show Live and bought a 3 setting Macro lens and case. Very happy with it and looking forward to more macros coming up 🙂 ))


The Astro-Media clip – a fabulous cardboard cut out and stick together macro lens that (sadly) is only for iPhone 4/4S at the moment (although it does for the most part fit the 5/5S just a little less snugly than it does the 4). It’s cheap as chips though and the sense of accomplishment from taking photos with a lens you constructed is very cool indeed.

You can buy it >>here<<


This is a rubber, almost lego brick sized lens which has suckers that you attach to the phone. It fitted the Galaxy S4 more snugly but, just about, fits on the iPhone. I like it a lot, primarily because my wife and daughter bought me one each for Christmas, unaware that the other was buying one, and both bought me a different type of lens (wife bought me a fisheye lens and daught a macro). Again fairly cheap – a £3 stocking filler at the time – and works very well for the money (although it’s harder to find online. Here’s one though).

Why attach a lens to a camera phone? Well, it adds to the options and allows for experimentation of image making. Which is part of the fun of the game…

Lurve.

(iPhone 5s + Olloclip fisheye).

Well. Related imagery anyhow…

Youth group last night* was loads of fun (apart from losing at the football 12-6 🙁 )

*Have I mentioned about co-leading a youth group for, now, 20 years on a Friday night. It’s a wonderful thing to be a part of although I have been walking into it in an increasingly dog tired state this year and some changes are a-coming to try and help that situation.

Anyhoo: I normally do the football room and wifey normally leads the craft room and we have a team of 7 excellent helpers doing the do, too. Last night, halfway through the football, we had a tuck shop break and I sat down/vaguely collapsed in a chair in the craft room and chatted to the kids there who were making decorated love hearts in anticipation of Valentine’s day next week (there were other things to make as well but they’re all at an age where that’s the most popular thing to make).

Somehow I ended up taking a couple of photos and, after group, I spent time editing one in the very lovely iPhone art app ArtRage. Hence this:


(ArtRage, iPhone 5S, no stylus).

Also photographed a Strawberry Chocolate love heart. Which are yum 🙂

(might have had a smidge of Snapseed on the colours 😉 plus Ollocip on iPhone 5S).

 

 

 

A bit of blather on mobile digital photography.

I’ve just swapped from a Samsung Galaxy S4 to an iPhone 5S and for one reason only. The camera.

(The Devils Giraffe, iPhone 4S + Autostitch. Blogged about here: http://kercal.wibsite.com/2013/10/13/paris/)

To be fair the GS4 is a great phone. The screen is very good, I appreciate the larger viewing size too, I loved the flip cover allowing me to see the time and certain information without accessing the main features of the device and so on. It rarely stuttered at the pictures I was drawing, even with Photoshop Touch which at times (hallo large size – semi transparent brush) is known to stop and think.

But the camera. No. Just no. Didn’t work for me. Slow, cumbersome, occasionally great shots but far more frequent missed or blurry ones. I was heartened at one point to find an app I love to bits – Autostitch – on Android and they saddened to see how clumsy it was in comparison to the Apple phones camera and ecosystem. Honestly – I’m not a fanboy for any company… My favourite tablet at the moment is a Surface Pro or a Tesco Hudl and my favourite phone would be a Samsung GS4 with an S Pen running something closer to iOS or Metro.

That said when Apple get it right – oh boy they do. The industrial design (can Sir Jony really only be knighted once?) is second to none (although again, the Surface is a very well designed tablet and arguably iOS 7 owes a good few nods to Metro) and the iOS app store ecosystem remains a league ahead.

Now I’m back on iOS devices I waddled through the mud to get to a place I’m fond of photographing: an electricity pylon slap bang in a field. That said anything geometrically repetitive makes me want to whip out the panorama apps (see the Eiffel Tower at the beginning of the blog post) but the pylon, so far, has been good to me*.

Last year I photographed it on iPhone 4S:and yesterday I photographed it on iPhone 5S:The clarity and definition on the 5S is obviously exactly what I was hoping to see. The lack of colour is down to Global Weirding rather than the lens. I look forward to popping back and snapping away when it’s sunny.

Like a complete nitwit (I left the house in a bit of a hurry to get photographing) I forgot my Ollocip but this was Olloclip on 4S and I’ll post a comparison pic when able later:(update: Olloclip pic taken with 5S:I also photographed the pylon using Boinx’ lovely You Gotta See This app…

4S:

5S:Less of a noticeable difference, if any, but I suspect that the app drops the resolution down to a set amount in order to capture the pictures it does. I’d love to see an update to it to take into account the faster processing speed and better lens though.

*Obviously I’m cautious around electricity and metal and so on, and I certainly don’t advise anyone to do this. Generally I let people know where I’m going to be or go with a friend. Apart from standing near to the pylon I don’t do anything that silly or dangerous and hope that nobody sees this as something to copy in anything other than sensible ways, if at all.

Fireworks.

So, as mentioned earlier, I’m most fond of using an iPhone as a photography device. Not to the extent that the very wonderful Lumilyon and a host of other hugely talented Phonographers use it, but still, it makes me happy. Especially if, through the use of an app of some kind, I can them play about with the photo taken or take it in a strange manner in the first place.

First amongst my loves – photography app wise – would be Autostitch. Boinx You Gotta See This is also fab but you lose a lot of sharpness in the images – which a phone update may in the future resolve but I’m not there yet…

And after that? Snapseed is ace and, in the case of the pics below (taken at a community fireworks festival last night) an app called Slow Shutter is also fab to use.

More on the Flickr site >>here<<